The Florida Bar


January 23, 2014
Francine A. Walker;,
The Florida Bar
(850) 561-5666

Laura E. Ward, an attorney at DLA Piper LLP in Tampa, is the recipient of the 2014 Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Pro Bono Service Award. The award will be presented at a Jan. 30 ceremony at the Supreme Court of Florida.

Ward concentrates her practice on complex commercial and civil litigation in state and federal courts throughout Florida. Ward has significant experience representing individuals as well as local and international corporations in areas including contract, construction, franchise, products liability and labor and employment. Before joining the firm, Ward clerked for the Honorable Charles R. Wilson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. She was admitted to The Florida Bar in 2004.

In 2013, Ward logged approximately 260 pro bono hours. In 2011 and 2012, she was the DLA Piper Tampa pro bono award winner and a nominee for the company’s national award. Ward has been recognized by the firm for outstanding commitment to pro bono service for her work bringing claims in district court pursuant to the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction seeking the return of children wrongfully removed from their home countries.

Ward is on DLA Piper’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee and she serves as director of a pro bono legal services clinic started by the law firm at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa. The veterans are helped with a variety of problems from driver’s license revocation issues to family law and trust and estate issues. In getting the clinic open, Ward drafted the memorandum of understanding with the Veterans Administration, helped to identify the physical space, organized a training course and produced training reference materials for all attorney volunteers. She staffs and volunteers at bimonthly clinics and oversees the client appointment process and follow-up. Forty to 50 veterans, many of whom are indigent or low income, are seen at each clinic. Ward is working to coordinate with local law schools and other law firms to expand the reach of the clinic to serve more veterans.

Ward received the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Outstanding Young Lawyer Award in 2013. Her other memberships include: Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers, Bay Area Legal Services-The Pearl Society, Davidson College Alumni Association-Tampa Chapter president (2005-present), and The Junior League of Tampa.

Ward received a B.S. degree in psychology from Davidson College in 2001 and a J.D. magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School in 2004.

This year's awards ceremony, which also honors individual, circuit, law firm, voluntary bar and judicial pro bono efforts, is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 30, at 3:30 p.m. at the Supreme Court of Florida. The program will be broadcast taped-delayed at a later date. Check local cable listings for details and the Florida Supreme Court Gavel to Gavel Video Portal at


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EDITORS: Please note The Florida Bar is not an association and "Association" is not part of our name. Proper reference is "The Florida Bar." Local bar organizations are properly termed "associations."

[Revised: 12-23-2014]